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We learn wisdom from failure much more than success, or so I like to believe but starting a large project when living alone is mighty daunting never-the-less. For sure I have always been a brave woman if that’s really the right word, one can become complacent when getting older and for me approaching my seventies, I have recently thrown caution to the wind!

The past couple of months have been exciting for me in many ways, pulling and shaking me from my gentle quiet life here in the country. Not that I might add I am ever bored or feel there is not enough to do, often not having enough hours in the day for all the things I desire to achieve. I have a lunch date or two most weeks and often go out to dinner. I spend time writing of course, walk with the “Wold Walkers for Health” and join-in many social occasions in the Village. Having marvellous holidays too and I go visiting south, now and then and even manage the odd day in London, recently spending another day at “Westfield Shopping Mall” a great fun day out. I am content and happy with my so called ‘quiet life’, living alone has many compensations. Pleasing yourself with what you choose to do with your precious time is one of them and something I luxuriate in these days.

I have now been without my beloved for four years, adjusting well to this terrible loss or so I believe but now a time of reassessment has arrived. I live in a most modest bungalow quite perfect for retirement, the garden is probably a bit too big for me to cope with alone and that’s costly to keep under control but I would hate to part with it.  I have just had all the trees pruned and some removed  as the garden was becoming untidy and growing inwards, hopefully that will last for a good few years before needing attention again. I love so much the quietness and tranquillity of this village , we have fun here but its still perfect to retreat to your own little space and that’s something I love.

Still reassessment of one’s life  is a good thing to do from time to time and at any age, bringing many different thoughts together and perhaps as folk might think, should I move to a smaller place? A flat/apartment perhaps because I am getting older? Should I return to the county I came from, nearer my sons and their familes? I of course love them muchly but do not wish to be the Mother that is just run the corner. As long as my independence lasts and I keep well and active then here I shall stay. I have been pondering for some time but have never wavered from my love of this quiet village of kind good people, a village with no lights, starlit skies, one pub and the little church of St Margaret’s and in the ten years I have lived here the many memories that have been made and of course in the churchyard lies a special spot near to the church door… Could I leave that? And rings the answer loud and clear – No!

I have learnt well that possessions do not last, it is remembered  joys that make the heart strong and content. I am happy here although living alone, so feel I must make my home as comfortable as I can for me and for the guests that perhaps will brave the ‘A’ roads to visit me occasionally.  And so to that end and because it is an exciting thing to do at any time of life and especially now in mine, I have decided to extended my home and make it the best I can for the years that remain. Since moving here over a decade ago, and downsizing greatly, I  really missed not having a dining room, yes I could have taken one of the bedrooms but so often when family comes all the rooms are taken. I love to entertain and yes we have managed – when not many folk are here – we have eaten in the kitchen, quite big enough really, but when needing more room we have had to put a long table in the sitting room not a problem in the past but now I need to make things easier for me and a little less hard work.

So with that in mind I have decided to have a large Orangery built to the rear of the bungalow and as I sit here writing this, the garden and driveway to my home are covered in cement mixers, diggers and all manner of building equipment. How strange when the planning takes months and all of a sudden there you go, an invasion of the nicest kind. I am of course keeping a record of the build, always fun to look back on in years to come and I am glad to learn the manner and order of these types of modern day builds, not that I will ever attempt one I’m sure! But knowledge is knowledge and all is good to retain. I have longed to have a light airy room and to be able to glean as much of our English sunlight that I can. I have spent much time looking at designs, chatting to architects, walking showrooms with a dear friend, debating and discussing, mulling over the few complications of drains and interior heating cupboards, radiators and fires, light fittings etc etc. Doing things by yourself is more of a challenge of course. I have to keep within a budget and my always champagne taste with beer money comes sharply to mind. I have discussed things with a good friend who reminds me often that however my vision, it must be tailored to my  own needs and taste and I should have just what I what, well thats ok to a degree but I must stay within my budget and could without doubt like all of us, get carried away! Still It’s fun and enjoyable  searching out ideas for the interior, which I would like more modern than the rest of the house. Have manage to find a contemporary mounted wall fire that I like and that I hope will work well with the radiators, selected lights too, not wanting the normal ceiling fan which I dislike because of the whirring noise and have certainly overdone the budget on a huge ceiling and two wall lights, oh well, we all need a bit of glamour in our life. I shall update as things continue but they are racing away and progressing so quickly after only a week of work. Watch this space friends this will be fun and fingers crossed…